Scott Servais' Tenure
One thing you can't accuse our GM of: indecision


Just another week or two before we get some material to hash over.  Dr. D thinks he can say without fear of contradiction that it has been a tepid offseason, this 2017-18 winter, and he thinks he can follow that up by saying it's even more so in Marinerland.  It's been a long, cold, boring winter in Seattle.  Once the game start, we can start ping-pong'ing our impressions as to whether:

1) "Wolf Pack" pitching is going to leave the Mariners ahead of the (100-year) curve on more relief pitching rather than less

2) Whether Mitch Haniger is going to become a .530-SLG'ing beast in right field

3) Whether Scott Servais is going to make a 7-WAR impact by yanking BOR starters three games earlier or later, whether he deploys his RP's to advantage, and so forth

4) Whether Dee Gordon's speed is going to translate into mediocrity in CF, into apparent whizbangery in the popcorn-popper air current, or what

5) etc


In the meantime, we make do with gnawing chicken wings.  In this weekend's crop of Hey Bills we get this controversial assertion:

It used to be that teams fired managers when their teams underperformed. No team overperformed in the A.L. last year as much as the Yankees, and no team underperformed as much as the Rangers (based on pre-season expectations). I realize certain styles of managing work for different phases of a team's build and win cycle, but whatever Joe Girardi was doing it seemed to be working and whatever Jeff Banister was doing - almost everything went wrong. I couldn't find any explantion for the Girardi firing other than Sports Illustrated's "Cashman cited Girardi's issues with connectivity and communication with players . . ." That sounds pretty lame for the success Girardi has had for the last 10 years. What's your take on this, Bill?
Asked by: hotstatrat /John Carter

Answered: 2/8/2018
 I think you have simplified historical patterns to draw a conclusion that would not hold up.  The Yankees in 1960 fired Casey Stengel after 12 brilliant seasons; after the 1964 season they fired Yogi Berra after he had won 99 games and the American League.  The Cincinnati Reds fired Sparky Anderson after a 92-win season in 1978.  The Mets the same year (1978) brought back Joe Torre after he lost 95 games--and brought him back again the next year after he lost 99 games, and brought him back again the next year, after he lost 95.  
I just don't believe that your premise is valid. When a manager will be fired was never highly predictable, which I know because I have tried to write formulas to predict it. 


First of all:  this is a fairly straightforward rejection of something I would have taken to be self-evident.

Second of all:  if it is true, it's probably due to personality conflicts between the GM and manager.

Third of all:  I've never noticed that the 1977-2017 Seattle Mariners have failed to give their managers fair opportunities.  Way TOO fair in almost all cases.

Fourth of all:  it is Dipoto himself who is on the hot seat in my book.  This is the year that Haniger and Segura and Vincent and Ramirez and, in fact, the entire philosophy, has a swing of outcomes from "look what a genius this guy turned out to be" to something far, far less.


James' last sentence, it really holds up here, though.  I thought Scott Servais would have been under a lot of pressure after his 78-84 season, but instead Dipoto gave him a 100-megawatt sunny smile and rearranged the coaching personnel AROUND him - not even changing much of the weaponry on the field.

Yet one more manifestation of Jerry Dipoto's remarkable confidence.  He's a very nice man, but right now his self-image is running way ahead of his results.


Dr D



is that JD has four years minimum.  I think he sold them on 'contend while also rebuilding', which I agree with.

I also agree that personality conflicts doom managers (Billy Martin notwithstanding).  And JD probably still suffers from PSSD (Scosia) today.  Hence, the urgency to surround himself with people who entirely agree with his view of the world.  But as I've said before, I lament that in some cases maximum agreement has taken precedence over maximum knowledge and teaching ability.  His best coach is Edgar--who he inherited from the previous regime, along with Cano and Kyle and Boomstick.  I think they made the right move in having Acta sitting next to Servais on the bench this year (even though I think those roles should be reversed).  

But, what the heck--optimism!


Sounds nice, until we think about all the shiny pieces he has just given away, more or less.

My skeptical (at this point) mindset has me thinking Dipoto will cut Gonzales after spring training, point his fingers at us and finally say, "Gotcha!"

The fact that I have to wonder- even to myself- whether Dipoto is still an Angels operative like Figgins had to have been, is concerning to say the least.

But what it feels like is he pulled off a whirlwind of nothingness that he calls raising the floor, I call giving away the farm and creating an incredibly average MLB product. A real bird-flippin' to M's fans.

Had he not left the Angels the worst farm in baseball and a bad MLB team, I wouldnt feel so hopeless right now. Maybe he' not on their payroll, he' just that bad.. History isn' on his side, we'll just say that.

We're talking about the guy who pegged Aoki, Dyson and Gamel as his opening day left fielders, amirite?

Now I've got nothing against Dyson, per se, but I do object to his OPS in LF, a power position.

Why? Simple. Signing Cano gives you exactly one competitive advantage over your competitor. That is the ability to fit an extra power bat in your lineup at a "positional scarcity" position.

The Mariners mistake of mistakes has been to sign Cano, then immediately negate that competitive advantage by filling the other power positions with weak bats. Advantage erased at a yuge $ cost.

Would have been so much cheaper to sign a Cano-level LF bat and put your weak bat at 2B if you're that intent on having one in the lineup.

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